SG Screen & Reference Booklet Contents?

The current plan is for ArMD to include a Storyguide Screen and reference booklet. The question is what useful information should go on them. The screen is going to be three panels horizontal, and the booklet should not be too much over 12 pages. My current thinking is that the screen should include things that you might need to look up on the spot during play, while the booklet is more for things that you are likely to need for seasonal activities. With that in mind, my initial list of what should go on them is as follows.

Screen

Range, Duration, and Target table
Spell size table
Aura interactions, including extra botch dice for regiones
Voice & Gestures modifiers
Other casting options
Spell casting results
Spont summary
Ease Factors
Botch dice, general and spell
Wound penalties
Combat mechanics
Fatigue levels and recovery

Booklet

Spell guidelines
Vis capacity by material and size
Enchantment modifiers (number of uses etc)
Lab activities summary
Seasonal activities summary (books and such)
Combat totals
Weapon & armor stats

The spell guidelines might well be wanted immediately in play, but there is no way to fit them on a screen in a legible way. It's going to be a push to get them into the booklet…

I'm looking for feedback on these lists. I am more familiar with the rules than most people, so I may well not realise that something needs to be included. On the other hand, I may have added things that people can look up in the book. Questions about what exactly I mean by certain entries, particularly if accompanied by an explanation of what you think I should mean, will also be very helpful.

We have a couple of weeks for this, to make sure that there is plenty of time for layout.

Thanks in advance.

4 Likes

I am always looking up penetration for monster abilities so that would be nice for the screen

Bob

8 Likes

I often find the need to look up the warping rules (How powerful auras effect people, how powerful effects can cause warping etc.) It would be nice to have them easily accessible.

The summary of the Twilight rules would be nice to have, at least the formulas. But I agree with the Pen calculation, it is pretty inconvenient that it is not included on the might creature's character sheets.

Topic of Storyguide screen, I'm planning on making my own: leather covered cardboard and magnetic board, which I could just use little magnets to hold up whatever papers I need for the session. I can update when I go through with it. I started cutting the magnetic board and it is not a friendly material to work with and I don't want jagered edges to cut through the thin leather covering...

5 Likes

I'm not sure what the difference is here and wondering why combat totals arent on the screen as it definitely reads to me as more of a screen-thing as you described the difference.

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This is great news! As with Bob, I always blank on penetration with Realm powers. I also do the same with penetration and the effect of auras on enchanted items, but that might be a bit niche even for the booklet!

I have faith the spell guidelines will fit in the booklet - the Spanish storyguide kit managed it!

In "Combat mechanics" it might be nice to have a note about non-weapon & spell damage (damage rating + stress die) alongside the combat-advantage-plus-weapon result for weapons.

In the screen, how about a two-word summary of each Art, for helping judge spellcasting on the fliy?

Do you need wound and fatigue notes on the screen, as they're on character sheets or monster stat blocks anyway?

1 Like

Personally I would argue against having summaries of the Arts. It seems too fundamental to the game to need a reminder for. There are edge cases for what falls under a given Art, but imo a screen isn't the place for that level of detail.

I would agree on not needing wound penalty reminders, but recovery rules could be useful - they are on my homemade storyguide screen.

2 Likes

Non-combat Injuries. I find the heat & corrosion and Impact tables suprisingly useful. My PCs tend to drop things into things, and to set things on fire.

5 Likes

I liked the travel distance table from 4ed Parma Fabula.

Concentration and AC durations are tables I often find myself looking up in play.

In the booklet, I think definitely aging and possibly experimentation tables (from lab chapter) are needed.

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Certamen?

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I have not read that bit some kind of travelling chart would be nice. I mostly just assume 30km/day on foot if it is a "civilised" area and 50km/day on horseback when not ayraining oneself or the horse, but more would be nice.

Taking a look at Justin Alexander's Cheatsheet I would say:

  • For the screen

    • How Confidence works
    • How Encumbrance works (I hope it's less confusing)
    • An abridged explanation on how Magic Resistance works (both Parma + Form Resistance + Creature Resistance)
    • An Arcane Connection table (I don't know if this is already included in 'Other casting options' or elsewhere)
  • For the booklet

    • Travel guidelines
    • Certamen
    • Form bonuses
    • Limits of magic
    • Twilight rules (this can go here or in the screen, both are fine imho)
    • Seasonal Advancement Overview
    • How to write books
    • Aging Table & Mechanics
    • Wound recovery table + Activities while injured
    • Realm interaction tables
    • How to enter regiones
4 Likes

Your figures match the chart under good conditions. Medium conditions say 15 miles on foot and 20 on horseback, and even state that that is the best one can hope for. I think weather means as much as civilisation. Muddy roads make for slow travel. Civilised areas are likely to be more muddy because more people use the roads.

1 Like

That's remarkably comprehensive. It's a little surprising that it hadn't previously been drawn to my attention.

Excellent point. A summary of all the Penetration calculations should be on the screen.

Yes, that sounds sensible. I suspect this is a booklet thing, although there is an argument for putting "sixth magnitude+ warps" on the screen.

They didn't have as many spell guidelines to include. :wink:

Totals: What to add up to get your Attack Total, Defense Total, and so on.

Mechanics: What to roll and what to subtract from what in combat.

My thinking was that normally you should not be calculating combat totals in play, but you are likely to want a reminder of how to use them.

Yes, that would be useful.

I can see that. Fatigue recovery will happen in play, so should be on the screen. A lot of wound recovery would be more booklet.

I think we have a revised version of that in C&G.

Yes, those are going to come up.

I don't think there will be space for experimentation. Aging is reasonable.

Yes, I agree. Maybe booklet, as it shouldn't come up that often.

I think not, because it's all in one place in the rules. A page reference might be good, though. (It's also not something that comes up and needs answering now, while other things are going on. If Certamen is happening, the narrative is focused on that. So, there should be time to grab the rulebook.)

Those would be helpful, yes.

What do people think about this? It would be useful to have around, but a lot of regiones have their own rules that take precedence, and it isn't something that tends to come up and take the SG by surprise — if there is a regio, the SG has planned for it, and that should include notes on getting in. I could see this being something to drop for space reasons. Although, again, maybe a page reference.

I am inclined to restrict this to formulae, for two reasons. The first is space: including an explanation takes quite a lot of real estate.

The second is that people are generally good at remembering general concepts, like "Magic Resistance keeps magic out but does not dispel it". They are not generally good at remembering formulae. Thus, a quick reference for formulae is useful to have, but a short explanation of a concept is normally restricted to what you can remember anyway. The details of exactly how Magic Resistance interacts with other things are (notoriously) not clear and sometimes disputable, but there is not space to put enough information on a screen, or even in the booklet, to help with the tricky cases.

Comments and feedback on this policy also welcome, and the comments so far have been very helpful, thank you. Still plenty of time for more suggestions for important inclusions.

3 Likes

Due to how different Regione can have wildly different rules, I don't think it needs to be. But a page reference would be useful.

2 Likes

A small table of how to pronounce common Latin terms. Too many arguments over Vis to count.

Maybe. I did not like it as much.

IIRC C&G is excellent for long-distance travel between major ports and trade towns. The 3/4ed table gave expected travel distance and fatigue cost for the more local travel, cross-country, or to the next city, emphasising how harshly it could depend on weather and other conditions.

I certainly think that concrete detail is more important than general descriptions. As you say, the human brain is not very good at detail. Some of the details come up so often that we remember though, and they risk cluttering the screen and render it useless. OTOH, we remember different things so that cannot be resolved.

The main problem today, is that formulæ and specific rules are scattered around so many books and are thus hard to find. It is possible that the definite edition solves the problem without a booklet and screen.

But then. if Atlas can sell it, they should make it, whether or not it is superfluous.

On the specific regio question. I disagree that these do not take the SG by surprise, because, sometimes, a player come up with a different skill or power, and wonder if it can penetrate this regio. A boxed lists of options would be useful, as well as the formula and list of relevant abilities. It is not obviopus if it belongs in the book or the booklet, but I do not really expect room on the screen. The problem I see with current text is that one is easily stuck in some misconception that some approach should always work, and a compact chart firmly saying otherwise would help.

In short, I think your policy is sound, and whatever you do, it will not be perfect for more than a very few people.

I don't think we can introduce something from an earlier edition.

Thank you.

Definitely. I hope that the discussion here will make them useful for as many people as possible, however.